Abu Dhabi's official font

aaronbell's picture

Now, I'm normally rather against typefaces that try to emulate the writing style of other languages or seek to imbue a "culture" into a font (for example: Chinese & Japanese Style), but the work done on Abu Dhabi's official font is rather impressive:

Abu Dhabi's New Font

Most impressively, it manages to avoid the cheesy look most Arabic-styled fonts managed to trudge into and fits the brand rather well. I like the loops on the 'g' and 'y,' though I have to wonder what would happen if they tried to write any word that had a 'gy' together, like 'clingy.'

What do you all think?

John Hudson's picture

I don't think it does avoid the cheesy look of other pseudo-Arabic fonts. And the use of extended connecting strokes with random dots above and below impedes readability by disrupting English words.

I quite like the brand mark, though.

The choice of Nazanin as a companion Arab font is competent, but not inspired.

hashimpm's picture

The brand strategy sounds good, but typeface? Trying to please English and Arabic reading audience seems short-sighted. Reading long paragraphs in that typeface will be a nightmare. Why not try and match a no-frills accepted Roman typeface with a contemporay Arabic typeface like many have succesfully done before.

We in India with its many languages have often tried to design a local-flavoured Roman typeface, rather unsuccessfully. Even at the cost of being called a pessimist, Rudyard Kipling's verse "The East is East and the West is West/ The twain shall never meet" comes to my mind immediately.

blank's picture

It reminds me of the cheesy pseudo-Arabic letters that were on the Arabian Nights-themed Dungeons and Dragons supplements I had when I was in middle school. These letters would make a great swash set, but to get away from the cheese it needs a toned-down set of letters and some lighter weights.

aaronbell's picture

It is definitely not designed as a body typeface. Words like "moment" in their example become a bit laborious to read and as hashimpm says, reading long strings would be terrible, so I'd imagine that they will be pairing it with a more legible typeface of some sort, but the site doesn't make that clear.

While I do agree that fonts should live in their own cultures (the pages I linked to on dafont seem to exemplify that), this one does seem to have some good qualities. Especially, as James points out, if it had some lighter options and maybe a bit less arabian nights feel (the extended connectors could definitely be shorter), it could be more elegantly presented. Ultimately, the biggest issue I see with the font is that it precludes the ability for them to put both arabic and english versions on the same page. I like how, if you squint, the Abu Dhabi font presents a similar feel to the arabic one they've paired it with, but it tends toward being too similar, to the detriment of legibility when combined.

The other thing I noticed was that the numerals on the font were stolen directly from Nazanin, which probably didn't help when weighting the english version. You don't usually see such direct "borrowing" and I'm a bit surprised.

Syndicate content Syndicate content